On June 22, 2006, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Michaelis v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County (2005) 127 Cal.App.4th 1298, clarifying when a public entity must disclose competitive proposals submitted in response to a Request for Proposal (“RFP”), that are requested pursuant to the Public Records Act (“PRA”). In short, such proposals are exempt from disclosure until the negotiation process is concluded, but must be disclosed prior to a public entity’s final decision on a contract award with sufficient time to allow the public to scrutinize and protest the proposed award. The decision provides definitive guidance applicable to all manner of proposals submitted to public entities that utilize a negotiation process, including proposals for construction related-services such as architectural, engineering, surveying and construction management services.
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